The Grapevine of St. Stephen's
A newsletter publication from St. Stephen's Episcopal Church in Winston-Salem, NC. This is the Lenten Issue, Spring 2011.
Priest’s Pen Bishop’s Visit and Confirmations 195TH Annual Convention Report Wedding Bells for Angela Grant and John Lopp Loni Worsley’s Baby Shower Black History Observances Lenten Series “The 7 Last Words” The ECW 2011 Schedule of Events Annual Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper ECW Upcoming Activities Episcopal Church Men Blog by Candice Benbow Editor/Creator: Patrice Y. Toney Main Photographer: Melton Sadler Contributors to this Issue: Elnora Gore Melton Sadler Brad Vaughn Bernice C. Toney Patrice Y. Toney Rev. Hector Sintim Please email pictures and submissions for the Grapevine to: firstname.lastname@example.org St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church 810 N Highland Ave Winston-Salem, NC 27101 (336) 724-2416 Rev. Dr. Hector Sintim Priest-in-Charge Holy Eucharist Sundays, 11:00am Service Join us for our Services and Study Series Mid-week Service Wednesdays, 12 noon Sunday School Sunday Mornings, 10am Family Prayer Night Last Saturdays of the Month, 5pm Lenten and Advent Studies Wednesdays during Lent and Advent Season, 6pm Prayer and Bible Study Wednesdays, 6pm Encourage, Empower, Equip... and Educate one another for … During the last convention of the diocese of North Carolina held in Winston Salem, l listened to Bishop Michael Curry’s message about going to Galilee. I took a copy of the booklet and spent some time to internalize the contents of the message. I started to ask myself some deep human and divine questions by looking at Jesus’ ministry or if you will his vision and mission in Galilee. Jesus spent most of his life and ministry in the region of Galilee. According to the gospels, Jesus’ earthly ministry centered around the Sea of Galilee. While important events occurred in Jerusalem, the Lord spent most of the three years of His ministry along the shore of this freshwater lake. Here He gave more than half of His parables and here He performed most of his miracles... The significance of the Sea of Galilee in Jesus’ ministry is indicated by the fact that some of the first and some of the last events in His ministry occurred here. Shortly after the temptation, Jesus traveled to Capernaum with His family (John 2:12). Later Jesus would live in Capernaum and call four of His disciples from among the fishermen in the area (Mt 4). While He performed many miracles at points along the lakeshore, two of His most dramatic miracles were done on the water itself when He stilled the storm (Luke 8:22–25) and walked on the water (Mark 6:47– 52). Following His resurrection, Jesus cooked breakfast on the shore for seven of the disciples (John 21). In other words, the religion of Galilee, was the focal point of many events and teachings in Jesus' ministry. Out of thirty-two educative, empowering, equipping and encouraging parables no less than 19 were spoken in Galilee. 25 out of Jesus' 33 great miracles were wrought in this province. Jesus' first public miracle was at the wedding in Cana of Galilee as well as his last one performed on the shore of Galilee's sea after his resurrection. It was from Galilee that Jesus gave his wellknown message called ‘The Sermon on the Mount’ (Matthew 57; Luke 6:20-49). In a summary, it was in galley that Jesus Encourage, Empower, Equip and Educate not only himself, but that of the disciples and all those he came into contact with. Today, Jesus is giving that same mandate of doing 1or 2 of these 4-E’S for ourselves and to someone else, wherever you shall meet. Why Should we practice the 4-E’S? Jesus longs to have relationship with you. To know Him is to realize that we are in a covenant relationship with Him. You are His child. He is your Father. You are His bride. He is your Groom. Jesus warns us that we can do His works and not be known of Him or His Father. Spend Time with the Lord, daily. In any earthly relationship, the way to develop relationship with someone is to spend time with them. Intimate relationships are born by learning to trust. Being open and vulnerable and being willing to show all of your heart invites intimacy. To be intimate is to be willing to show all that is in your heart to the person. To be an intimate friend of Jesus, you need to be able to pour out your heart to Him, sharing the most intimate details of your life, your hopes, your dreams and your very heart with Him. You can do this by Encouraging, Empowering, Equipping, and Educating yourself through your personal relationship with Him and others for early Galilean ministry in your community. Keep the faith, stand firm and keep the fire of prayer burning. Rev. Dr. Hector Sintim Monica Fowler Mary M. Anderson FOUR PERSONS ARE CONFIRMED On Sunday, March 13, the First Sunday of Lent, St. Stephen’s welcomed four new confirmands into full communion with the Episcopal Church. The occasion was the annual visit of the Right Reverend Michael B. Curry and the Confirmation Service was a part of that visit. We welcome the newly confirmed into the family of St. Stephen’s. Rhyes S. Anderson Janya Davis 195TH ANNUAL CONVENTION REPORT The 195th Annual Convention of the Diocese of North Carolina convened on Friday, January 21st and Saturday, January 22nd, at the Benton Convention Center in Winston-Salem. The general theme for the convention was “Reflecting the Radical Welcome of Jesus By Being A Church For Others.” The Bishop’s Pastoral Address was entitled “Come, Let Us Go to Galilee.” The message was taken from Matthew’s Gospel on the Resurrection: “He has been raised from the dead, and indeed he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him.” The Bishop’s message invites us all to Galilee to see him. Several opportunities were announced that allowed the attendees to live out the theme during the convention: Collecting 5,000 canned goods; Making 12,000 Bible figures; Saving lives by providing 40,000 mosquito nets to prevent malaria; participating in Liturgy of Repentance and Reconciliation for the Legacy of Slavery; and learning from the author of Radical Welcome, the Reverend Stephanie Spellers. She is the author of Radical Welcome: Embracing God, the Other, and the Spirit of Transformation, and was the preacher for the convention Eucharist and the keynoter during the Saturday business session. A number of Resolutions were passed by the 195th Annual Convention, including a resolution to reaffirm support of the Millennium Development Goals of the General Convention, which requires the allocating of at least 0.7% of church income to support projects which address one or more of the eight goals; changes in the structure and method of electing members of the Disciplinary Board; encouraging congregations to organize committees on Environmental Stewardship; the participation of congregations in the NetsforLife Campaign; and a reduction in the percentage of church income for the Fair Share Percentage for 2012. Several Elections were conducted during the Convention and the results are available on the Diocese website. We were reminded that the 77th General Convention will be held in 2012, an event which occurs every three years, with the last having been held in 2009 in Anaheim, CA. The delegates representing St. Stephen’s were Harold Kennedy and Melton Sadler. Alternates were Paula Stevenson and Clevetta Gilliam, all as Lay persons. Also, Rev. Hector Sintim and Rev. Bill Pendleton attended the convention in the Clergy category. The 196th Convention will, again, be held in Winston-Salem in January, 2012. For more information, please go to: http://www.dionc.org/dfc/newsdetail_2/15 Submitted by Melton Sadler CONGRATULATIONS!! On Saturday, February 12th, 2011, Angela Laverne Grant and John Andrew Lopp were united in Holy Matrimony at St. Stephenâ€™s Episcopal Church. LaShay Carter was the Maid of Honor; Robert Young was the Best Man; George Henderson served as the Groomsman; and William Murchison gave the bride away. A reception was held in the fellowship hall of the church which was catered by Valeria Dove. Congratulations and Best Wishes to the newly wed couple! On Sunday, April 3rd, 2011, the ECW of St. Stephen’s participated in a Baby Shower for Loni Worsley. Gertrude Murchison hosted the event, with games led by Patrice Toney and Carrie “Granny” Worsley. The mother-to-be was showered with an array of nice baby gifts. Best Wishes Loni! 0 The 2011 Black History Observance highlighted Doers of St. Stephen’s Episcopal. Two persons with ties to the church were honored and individual members in that particular field were recognized each Sunday in the fields of Military, Religion, Education/Business and Science/Health. Feb. 6- MILITARY HONOREES were Marshall B. Bass and The Honorable Togo D. West, Jr. Feb. 13- RELIGION honorees were The Rt. Rev. Michael B. Curry and Rev. Absalom Jones. Feb. 20- EDUCATION/BUSINESS honorees were Palmer G. Friende and Thomas H. and Johnnye Hooper. Feb. 27- SCIENCE/HEALTH honorees were Drs. Edward L. Davis and Joseph G. Gordon. The families of Mr. Friende and Dr. Gordon worshipped with St. Stephen’s during those services. Each of the honorees were long time servants and participants of the church who served as Acolytes, Wardens, Choir members, Sunday school teachers and in many other capacities. We are thankful for their leadership in the church as well as in the communities and the world. They each took advantage of the trail blazed by others who marched, planned and sometimes gave their lives to move our people forward. They found many ways to be of service in the community. St. Stephen’s is thankful for them and proud to honor them. REFLECTIONS ON THE S SEVEN EVEN WORDS OF JESUS ...What it means to us today. Presenter: Alvah Whealton Date: MARCH 9 MATTHEW 27:46 tells us that about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Here, Jesus was expressing His feelings of abandonment as God placed the sins of the world on Him – and because of that, God had to “turn away” from Jesus. As Jesus was feeling that weight of sin, He was experiencing a separation from God for the only time in all of eternity. This was also a fulfillment of the prophetic statement in PSALM 22:1. Q- ln what ways do we FORSAKE GOD, OURSELF AND OTHERS in our community and in the church. Presenter: Lynnette Stevenson DATE: MARCH 16 “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” LUKE 23:34Those who crucified Jesus were not aware of the full scope of what they were doing because they did not recognize Him as the Messiah. While their ignorance of divine truth did not mean they deserved forgiveness, Christ’s prayer in the midst of their mocking Him is an expression of the limitless compassion of divine grace. Q- What is the importance of forgiveness in the lives of believers? Presenter: William Gore DATE: MARCH 23 “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise” LUKE 23:43 In this passage, Jesus is assuring one of the criminals on the cross that when he died, he would be with Jesus in heaven. This was granted because even at the hour of his death, the criminal had expressed his faith in Jesus, recognizing Him for who He was LUKE 23:42. Q- Why is keeping promises important. What do we have to do to experience paradise while on earth? Presenter; Sylvia Hamlin DATE: MARCH 30 “Father, into Your hands I commit my spirit” LUKE 23:46 Here, Jesus is willingly giving up His soul into the Father’s hands, indicating that He was about to die – and that God had accepted His sacrifice. He “offered up Himself unblemished to God” HEBREWS 9:14. Q – what is God expecting to commit into his care and why do we have to do this. Presenter: Earleen Reid DATE: APRIL 6 “Dear Woman, here is your son!” and “Here is your mother!” When Jesus saw His mother standing near the cross with the Apostle John, whom He loved, He committed His mother’s care into John’s hands. And from that hour John took her unto his own home JOHN 19:26-27. In this verse Jesus, ever the compassionate Son is making sure His earthly mother is cared for after His death. Q – Why is relationship building very important or what are some of the ways can we care for others in the church and the community. Presenter: Donyetta Drumgoole DATE: APRIL 13 “I am thirsty” JOHN 19:28. Jesus was here fulfilling the Messianic prophecy from PSALM 69:21 “They put gall in my food and gave me vinegar for my thirst.” By saying He was thirsty, He prompted the Roman guards to give Him vinegar, which was customary at a crucifixion, thereby fulfilling the prophecy. Q- In what ways to we always get thirsty, what do we have to do over them, what should we thirsty. Presenter; Patrice Toney DATE: APRIL 20 ‘It is finished’ JOHN 19:30 Jesus’ last words meant that His suffering was over and the whole work His Father had given Him to do, which was to preach the Gospel, work miracles, and obtain eternal salvation for His people, was done, accomplished, fulfilled. The debt of sin was paid. Q– What is it in our lives that need to be finished? How do we do that or what are some of the ways to finish something that you started. ECW 2011 CALENDAR OF EVENTS April 9 Bus Trip to Raleigh May 14 Business Meeting, 10:30am May 21-22 Women’s Day Celebration – St. Mary’s Guild June 11 Women’s Retreat June 18 Family Fun Night – St. Anne’s September 2 Grandparent’s and Senior Citizens September 10 Business Meeting, 10:30am September 11 College Week-end October 8 Outing (Trip to the mountain) November 4 Fall Food Festival – St. Agnes’ Guild November 19 Business Meeting, 10:30am December 10 Christmas Outreach (Christmas Baskets for the sick and shut-ins) “The Best Pancakes in Winston-Salem,” is the quote given by many who eat pancakes at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, 810 N. Highland Avenue. The Annual Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper has been a fundraising event for over forty years. It is sponsored by the Episcopal Churchwomen (ECW) of the church and the funds generated are used as outreach in the local and wider communities. Some of the agencies that benefit are: Crisis Control Ministry, Hosanna House, Samaritan Kitchen and NetsforLife; purchasing nets to prevent Malaria. A new outreach this year is sponsoring a team of walkers in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in honor of breast cancer survivors in the church. The Pancake Supper featured: All You Care to Eat Pancakes, Sausage: Turkey and Pork and Beverage. The cost was $5.00. That is a bargain! The homemade batter is made from a recipe by Mrs. Juanita Gordon who died this year and this is a wonderful legacy to her. This is a big (Fat Tuesday) Shrove Tuesday Event held the day before the start of the Lenten (Self Denial) Season of the Church. All are welcome! Article Submitted by: Mrs. Elnora Gore, Clerk to the Vestry Join the ECW on Saturday, May 7th as we sponsor a team of walkers in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, in honor of breast cancer survivors in our church. Visit www.komennctriad.org to join the St. Stephen’s Team. Contact Elnora Gore for more information. Put on your walking shoes as the ECW prepares to symbolically walk to Galilee! Each member will keep track of the miles that they walk and it will be added to the total miles for the group. There will also be opportunities to walk as a group at scheduled times. Contact Shirley Sadler if you are interested in walking. The ECW’s Annual Family Fun Night will be held on Saturday, June 18th. This day of family fun and games will be organized by St. Anne’s Guild of the ECW this year. Please see Loretta Davis for more information. Mark your calendars for the Annual Fall Food Festival/Bazaar, which will be held on Friday, November 4th, 2011. This year’s Bazaar will be organized my St. Agnes's Guild, which is chaired by Betty Dillard. Beverly Boykin Robinson is a native of Winston-Salem, North Carolina. She attended Oakwood University in Huntsville, Alabama. Beverly obtained her Master’s Degree in Business/Organizational Management at LeTourneau University in Houston, Texas. Beverly is married to her college sweetheart, Ted Odell Robinson. To their union was born Carmen Robinson, a graduate of Pine Forge Academy, a lyric soprano and is a third-year medical student at Wake Forest School of Medicine, and Christopher Robinson, also a graduate of Pine Forge Academy, a poet and literature writer and is a Hospital Medical Corpsman in the United States Navy. On May 10th, 2011, Beverly and Odell will celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary. Beverly is the creator Patmos Greeting Cards ™ (Reaching The Forgotten Ones). These specialty cards utilize language that encourage and uplift those who are incarcerated (men and women) within the penal system. Beverly has also created a customized line of inspirational cards for persons diagnosed HIV Positive, and a line of encouraging cards for the families and friends of persons with HIV/AIDS. The most recent line of encouragement cards are for those individuals who are homeless. These lines of greetings seek to uplift persons who are challenged with housing situations and encourage them to continue a positive journey. Finally, Patmos Greetings provide a line of inspirational cards for our men and women who serve our country in each branch of the Military. Patmos Greeting Cards can be found online at www.patmosgreetings. Debra Terry will be the Christian Comedian during the women’s day Luncheon on Saturday, May 21st. Churches, colleges, club owners, promoters, actors and other comedians describe Terry as “clever and classy”. She deals with everyday life and her own unresolved issues using references from movies, commercials, song parodies and female singer impersonations for a show to remember. Her versatility as a comedian, actor and singer give her mass appeal. Her down-to-earth personality and eagerness to inspire, educate and entertain are breaths of fresh air for all who experience her. Lisa Clark, from Raleigh will be the Women’s Day Speaker on Sunday, May 22nd. All are welcome to participate in the Women’s Day Weekend activities and to join us for fellowship after the 11am Holy Eucharist Service. Bernice C. Toney is the chair of St. Mary’s guild which is coordinating this year’s Women’s Day Fundraiser. Each woman is expected to make a contribution. St. Stephenâ€™s Episcopal Church Men (ECM) relaunched their Menâ€™s Group with a slate of upcoming meetings and fundraising activities for the church. Aston King is serving as the President and Al Wheaton is the Clerk/Treasurer. Bernice Toney is as the Vestry Liason to the ECM. The Greatest of These is Love: My Episcopalian Worship Experience By Candice Benbow Mother Teresa once said “prayer, in action, is love and love, in action, is service”. From the moment I first read her words, I understood the greater power of my prayers. They were not idle words sent into the universe in hopes of better days. They were my ability to transform the life of someone else. It is not enough to verbally request that conditions be improved; my hands and feet must become involved in the work. My mother tells the story of me being 2 years and I, with tears in my eyes, packed all of my toys into a brown paper bag. She said I’d seen a commercial about children in Ethiopia and realized they had so little and I so much. I wanted their lives to be better and believed it could start with my dolls and train set. Twenty seven years later, I am not far removed from the day I saw that commercial. I still want to live in service. I pray that God does the radical work within me that allows me to embody love in ways unimaginable. As I prayed for a more compassionate heart geared toward service, I became more intrigued by a denomination I always believed had their finger on the pulse of that: the Episcopal Church. My research of the Episcopal tradition took me beyond its early beginnings to learning more of the fight for racial and gender equality. As I read books like Yet With A Steady Beat: The African-American Struggle for Recognition in the Episcopal Church and Episcopal Women: Gender, Spirituality and Commitment in an American Mainline Denomination, I saw that all the steps taken by the Church were not easy but members challenged each other to personify the very love for which they worshipped God. And today, I admire the transparency of the Episcopal Church when it speaks of its plateaus and declines in membership. But most importantly, I admire how they refuse to allow that to impact their ability to serve the people of the world regardless of race, gender, age, class or sexual orientation. Because their love has always inspired me, I chose to visit this past Sunday. I attended St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Winston Salem, North Carolina. St. Stephen’s has always been in the heart of the African-American and lends itself as a beacon of hope for so many. Though Sunday was my first time there, I had no idea how integral St. Stephen’s was to my growth and development. As a second grade student, my mother’s teacher asked her to speak before her St. Stephen’s congregation. As a child who was encouraged by my mother to speak before our church congregation and as an adult who has spoken in many churches across this country, it was humbling to worship among the same people who encouraged her all those years ago. Connecting much of my future to her past in that present was amazing. There’s always the myth presented by so many unfamiliar with the Episcopal tradition that they do not read the Bible; that couldn’t be further from the truth. Though they use The Book of Common Prayer for services, it is filled with numerous passages of Scripture. The service I attended, known as the Holy Eucharist, was simplistic in nature but challenged me to a higher level of love in the grandest of ways. First, a member of the St. Stephen’s clergy entered the sanctuary with a service dog. I’d seen dogs before but never in a church! I can only imagine the love and warmth he must have experienced to feel comfortable to continue worshipping there. Too often those who do not look, act or seem like us are ostracized by the ones who profess to be so welcoming. Just in seeing him there, I was challenged to find ways to make the love I give more inviting to those different than me. The pastor, a Ghanaian, delivered a sermon about mirrors reflecting what they see and being an opportunity to change what we see. Using a mirror as his prop, he showed us how God does the same thing. Through Him, we can see ourselves and change those things necessary to be even greater servants. I understood, then, why Episcopalians could lead lives of service. They concentrate on inward development that allows for a greater outward witness. That was also evidenced when the Priest read the job openings he received that week and reminded the congregation of the members who worked in those places. The Priest understood the need for collective work and responsibility to ensuring better lives for us all. If you can’t find a better way in the church, where can you go? And it was in a special moment that I finally “got it”. Having read the Prayer of Saint Francis so many times, I was finally in a congregation of individuals who looked like me and shared some of the same experiences I did. It was in the same sacred place where my mother once spoke about having peace on earth and goodwill toward men that I said “Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love.” Like Mother Teresa and Saint Francis, my desire should be that God use me to be the answer to whatever I pray. My desire should be that daily I strive to be a more willing vessel than I was before. Since worshipping four days ago, I’ve begun to study the Episcopal Church more; I have even ordered my own Book of Common Prayer. St. Stephen’s is a special place. It was there I connected with a history of myself that made my journey make sense. It was there I saw love personified. It was there I was introduced to a higher sense of purpose. I was created to serve- to serve God and His people. Where is there is no love, I was designed to fill those places. Selah and Amen. CMB, ©2011 Join Candice Benbow on her new radio Talk Show called “Divine Dialogues” at www.blogtalkradio.com/divinedialogue, on Thursdays at 7:00pm, to discuss religious issues impacting Black America. St. Stephenâ€™s Episcopal Church 810 N Highland Ave Winston-Salem, NC 27101 (336) 724-2416 Rev. Dr. Hector Sintim Priest-in-Charge